One of the most valuable concepts I have learned recently in sport involves monitoring, and garnering control over, our self-talk. Being conscious of what we say to ourselves can be extremely powerful.
Check out this story:
A young man went to a guru. He told the guru that he felt like he often had two wolves fighting inside of him: a good wolf and a bad wolf. He asked the guru which one would win. The guru thought for a moment and said, "the one you feed the most."
This story directly relates to self-talk. Whether we feed the bad wolf (negative self-talk) or the good wolf (positive self-talk) is our choice. I really feel the difference is if we listen to ourselves or talk to ourselves. Talking to ourselves means that we are in control of what we focusing on.
Remember, what you focus on, you get more of.